The Mental Attitude of a Master Salesperson

Robert Terson

The vast majority of the salespeople who call me for help are in dire need of a mental attitude makeover, from top to bottom.  So today I want to list 10 aspects of mental attitude a master salesperson is always on top of.  If you want to be ranked among these top-tier professionals, you must pay close attention to every one of these 10 vital points.

1. The Importance of Equality: Most salespeople, out of fear, approach a prospect from a subservient position, which is the kiss of death in sales.  To be successful a salesperson must have the prospect’s respect and be seen as his equal.  If you don’t have a prospect’s respect, the odds of closing the sale are practically nil.  You’re there to serve the prospect, better his life; your best chance to accomplish that goal is to be his equal, not his doormat.

2. Enthusiasm: “You never can be too enthusiastic” is an axiom of selling.  If you can’t crank up genuine enthusiasm for what you’re asking your prospect to spend her hard-earned money on, you’re the equivalent of a baseball pitcher without a fastball—you’re going to get clobbered.  A sales presentation is a form of theater; a salesperson is like an actor putting on a performance for his audience.  If he can’t get excited about his product or service, the performance is a flop—the prospect will walk out before the second act.  A prospect buys on emotion far more than logic or reason, and if a salesperson isn’t excited, the prospect won’t be either; and if the prospect isn’t excited—ho hum—she isn’t going to buy.

3. Voice of Authority: Delivery is two-thirds of the presentation.  A third-rate presentation delivered by a master is normally more effective than a transcendent presentation delivered by an amateur.  Words without inflection, tone of voice, confidence, and enthusiasm are like sweet-and-sour chicken sans the sweet-and-sour sauce—boring.  Put them all together and you have the Voice of Authority, a voice the prospect will respect and have confidence in.  In other words, you must present from a position of strength, not subservience and fear.

4. Providing Value: A master salesperson always puts the prospect’s interest above her own.  She’s there to serve the prospect, provide great value; she isn’t going to sell anything she deems not in the prospect’s best interest.  She understands that it’s all about the prospect, not her; she understands the relationship is far more important than any singular sale—quota be damned.

5. Belief: Napoleon Hill, in his classic, Think and Grow Rich, said, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe [my emphasis], it can achieve.”  Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can do a thing or if you think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”  You must believe in yourself!  A salesperson who doesn’t believe in himself, doesn’t have confidence in his abilities, is wasting his time and should look for another line of work.

6. Standing Guard Over Thoughts & Emotions: The subconscious mind never shuts down; it’s constantly sorting, measuring, interpreting, and analyzing the data you feed it, without a shred of bias.  Feed it positive thoughts and emotions and it will respond with positive support; feed it negative thoughts and emotions and it will respond negatively.  Think of the computer expression “garbage in, garbage out.”  Be fearful and fear is what you’ll get back; be desirous and believing and it will find ways to make it happen for you.  This is why it’s so vital you constantly stand guard over your thoughts and emotions.  Indulge in negative thinking and emoting and you’ll be your own worst enemy.  Salespeople who go down for the count usually do so because they self-destructed via negative subconscious programming.

7. Commitment: A commitment is irrevocable as enlisting in the French Foreign Legion; it’s hard as a diamond, inflexible as a block of steel.  It’s an ironclad vow, a sworn pledge, to yourself and your Creator, that the only thing that will keep you from realizing your desire to become a master salesperson is death itself.  Nothing else will stop you, because you’ll never quit.    In the immortal words of Sir Winston Churchill: “Never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in…”  The worst mistake you’ll ever make in life is giving up.  Pat Riley said, “There are only two options regarding commitment.  You’re either in or out.  There’s no such thing as a life in-between.”  A master salesperson is all-in.

8. Persistence: Persistence is the everlasting implementation of your commitment.  Persistence is hanging in there against Herculean odds, for as long as it takes, no matter the hardship endured.  It’s head butting against a wall of granite until finally it gives way and crumbles.  Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States, said, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.  The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”  Persistence is what will sustain you when adversity raises its jagged blade and stabs you in the heart.  If selling was easy as snapping your fingers, they’d be lining up to do it.  It isn’t, that’s why it pays the big bucks it does.  If you’re persistent, if you hang in there during those tough times, you’ll be worth every penny you’re paid

9. Responsibility: A master salesperson is 100% responsible for everything that happens to him, every sale or loss.  I don’t care how tempted you are to dump responsibility on some external, there is no blaming or alibiing.  Don’t do it, you’ll only betray yourself.  It’s your choice of vocation: the call was yours to make; you gave the presentation; if the prospect didn’t buy, it’s because you didn’t close the sale.  If you blame your company, manager, “lousy presentation,” weather, recession, or any of a thousand other lame excuses, you’ll be spouting a lot of nonsense.  The responsibility is always yours.  There are no exceptions to this rule.

10. Gratitude: I believe the optimum state of mind to accomplish any achievement is gratitude.  It doesn’t matter what your status is, what you have or don’t have, there is always something to be grateful for.  For a salesperson, what’s significant about gratitude is that it’s impossible to feel discouraged or sorry for yourself if you’re feeling grateful.  Have you ever heard about the man who complained about not having shoes…, until he saw someone in a wheelchair without feet?  Be grateful and inevitably you’ll have a lot more to be grateful for.  The salesperson who has a heart full of gratitude sells a lot more than the one who doesn’t.

There are, of course, other aspects of mental attitude I could have listed in this post, but if you’re in a hurry to achieve great success in sales, start with these 10; you’ll be on your way to becoming a master—I promise you.


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